Posts Tagged With: #Creation

In Flight for Life!

In Flight for Life!

This story is very personal. It is more than a story. It’s a place in time when a person’s direction in life is changed forever. It’s a journey that throws one directly into the wilderness and the landing isn’t soft. It’s a life that’s hard, dry, lonely, tragic, heart-wrenching, broken, and shattered. The journey is difficult when we feel alone. It’s a place where very few people are willing to walk along your side—yes; we have been forgotten by many. The amazing love Hashem has for us can be found in the treasured people He places in our path Hashem assigns to help on our journey. During our trials, we may witness amazing miracles with a new joy found. We are not asked to understand, we’re called to trust in Hashem and to have Emunah (faith). Hashem will never abandon nor forsake us.

“Be strong and resolute, be not in fear or in dread of them; for the LORD your G-d Himself marches with you: He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deuteronomy/ Devarim 31:6)[1]

Abraham was the first Jew who had a Jewish mindset. He accepted whatever trials were sent by G-d in faith and responded with obedience, without questioning. Western (Greek) thought is worldwide. Greek mindset in America demands to know the reasons why…why…why… and what’s in it for me? Greek philosophy crept in after Aristotle and Augustine developed a foundation in Greek philosophy into Western thought. Hellenistic philosophy developed after Aristotle attempted to merge Plato with mixed Biblical concepts. While Greek thought teaches the student to be concerned for himself, look out for number one, it redefines “knowledge” with teachings that draws man away from G-d. Jewish thought draws man to G-d, away from self-indulgence and Replacement Theology teachings. Having a Jewish mindset understands the Heavens declare the Glory of G-d and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. (Psalms/ Tehillim 19:1)

It’s important to train up our children in Judaism, and to love learning with a desire to seek what is righteous in the eyes of G-d. Having a Jewish mindset is “G-d centered,” understanding Hashem has the final Authority in all things. We should strive to learn with a Jewish mindset; understanding the chiasms in the Tanakh and Jewish writings. It’s important to keep the Tanakh in context by understanding what first mention is (a word may be written in the later books that was mentioned prior). It’s foundational to look back in earlier writings to receive “understanding.” Have Americans lost the real value of trusting Hashem when challenges arrive? Who or what do we turn to when our world becomes turned upside-down? Will we praise G-d in all things that are only in our favor or not? How do we respond when our life is instantly pulled from underneath us? Will we allow ourselves to see His Light in all things?

Let’s begin the Journey:

Twins! We were having twins. My father was a twin and my husband’s father was a twin. What other news could be more exciting? This is usually the time a mom begins to think of look-alike clothing, two cribs, two highchairs, two of everything. The parents gleefully start making preparations for more children on board.

In the twenty-fourth week gestation everything changed!  The doctor wasn’t alarmed when I placed a call reporting that I was losing amniotic fluid. He said a small amount can be normal, especially with twins that generally seal up. The next morning I was passing blood. My husband and I headed to the Emergency Room. I prayed during the way there. Baruch Hashem, G-d had a different doctor in mind that just happened to be on call at the hospital on our arrival. Dr. Bexar* [2]is one of the best OBGYN doctors in my state. His love and compassion, as well as expertise were incredible. After the ultrasound verified the twins were coming they began treatments to stop the bleeding and contractions. The pressure was unbelievably painful. The injections didn’t work; the twins were on their way. There is an enormous risk being born naturally premature. They could die being too fragile and tiny to survive the pressure of the birth canal. The ultrasound revealed the feet of one of the twins had already entered the birth canal, and one of the twins had hydrocephalus.

Fifteen minutes were given to make a decision! If they were born naturally, both would die. By caesarean-section, they would have a life-given chance! We chose life to give them every opportunity to live. On the table in the surgery room, going under anesthesia, the doctor and I counted backwards together as he held up his fingers– Ten…nine…eight…sevvv… (I’m asleep). Our beautiful twins were born; hearts beating with faint cries. Into the hands of exceptional doctors, hand-picked from the Hand of G-d, Dr. Goldstein *[3], a pediatrician, who was on the delivery twin- team would become a big part of our son’s life in years to come.

Dr. Bexar reported that a separate mass was found and believed to have been a triplet that at some point stopped growing. In the first trimester, I had experienced some unusual cramping that stopped after a day or two. Perhaps the triplet died and my body picked up messages that a life was over, but with twins, the chemistry became strong enough to send a message there’s still Life with my pregnancy. If so, we will see her/him in our next life to embrace, along with loving on Travis.

“It was You who created my conscience; You fashioned me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am awesomely, wondrously made; Your work is wonderful; I know it very well. My frame was not concealed from You when I was shaped in a hidden place, knit together in the recesses of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed limbs; they were all recorded in Your book; in due time they were formed, to the very last one of them.” (Psalms/ Tehillim 139: 13-16)[4]

Hidden and concealed – protection, covering, hedged in:

  • Soul- Nefesh

Awakened to echoing voices in the background in the Recovery room, I discovered our hearing (Shema) senses return before vision.

  • Hashem called us (my husband and I) on this journey. We answered Hashem’s call as “doers.”
  • Shema (hearing) – “Na’aseh v’nishma”—we will do and we will hear. (Exodus 19:8) The giving of the Torah. Our Wilderness begins!

The Storm

The storm came in two waves; physically and spiritually. Because the hospital wasn’t equipped for extreme premature babies weighing in the one-pound range, Life-Flight was called. Our babies were to be flown to a children’s hospital, out of state.

While waiting for Life-Flight, I was wheeled into the NICU on a gurney; giving the names of the twins with the correct spelling. They were too little to be held; thankfully, we were able to hold their tiny hands. Their tiny and delicate hands were the size of a man’s thumb—delicate, fragile, and precious!

The flight was almost canceled due to the horrific storms. With Hashem’s help, the pilots flew in-between storms, keeping perfect timing. There was one massive storm cloud in front, one behind. Life-flight flew in between the storms for its safe and precise arrival and departure.

Our beautiful twins were brought to my room; incubated in isoletts, ventilated, and on monitors. We were given treasured time before they left; not knowing if we’d see them alive again. My parents, sister, and her husband, headed to the children’s hospital during horrible road blizzard conditions with whiteouts. It was better for loved ones to be with our twins. Time was an essence. Life is precious!

The first night unable to hold my beautiful twins, undetermined how long they would live, or if I would see them alive was almost too much to bear. My sister-in-law drove through a mountainous storm to be by my side. After she left, a nurse sat by my side through the long hard nights when suddenly “the call” was transferred into my room during the second night. Travis was placed on complete life-support. His heart had stopped twice. They used the crash-cart to sustain him. My heart was breaking (I am in tears again, twenty-six years later). The medical team would do their best to keep them alive until my husband and I could arrive. Shawn, the smallest at one pound, four ounces, wasn’t out of the woods either. They both were fighting for their lives.

At last, I was allowed to leave—a day early. Considering my mother was the Head Director of the Women’s Center in the hospital, there wasn’t any reason to delay my discharge.

The Community Meeting

Upon arrival at the children’s hospital, we were allowed to see our babies before we were led into a private room for their “community meeting.” Community meetings gather the medical team with the parents to discuss the patient’s condition (weaknesses and strengths) to make a game plan; not limited to considerations with different probabilities and scenarios. It didn’t take long to figure out the complexity ideals held by some professionals assigned to the team. In other words, not all on board were believers in the miracles of G-d. Throughout the years ahead we would meet doctors who didn’t believe Hashem’s Light was going to shine through our twins—spiritually and physically!

Through prayers and all considerations given, we knew the direction Hashem was taking us before entering the room with the medical team. After listening, additional time given for prayers with family after being consulted, we knew the decision. Travis’ brain had completely bled to a grade four, meaning his life could not be sustainable without life support. Our hearts broke knowing Travis would die through painful suffering. He was in a cubical room full of equipment—full capacity. Shawn’s brain bleed was a grade two, and if shunted, he could have a chance to live—though we were given two years. Travis would come off life-support, return to Hashem, and Shawn would remain in this world—in flight for life!

Travis was removed from all equipment, other than the heart monitor. In a swaddling blanket, Travis was gently handed to me. They said he would pass away in just a few minutes. After a few minutes he was still with us. We gently took turns holding Travis. He was bruised from being so little during the delivery process. His beautiful face resembled much fear and pain. My family who gathered around my husband, Travis, and me were my parents, sister, and her husband.

Hashem had given me the time needed to say “goodbye.” In earth time, we were given forty-five minutes. But eternally, it was outside of time. In other words, time outside of space and time doesn’t exist the same way our clocks do. The moment Travis was placed in my arms time stopped. It was as if our Creator moved us out of the earthly realm (of time) and into an area outside of time.

The forty-five minutes was eternal, no time, as if we were holding on to Travis forever. Cradling him in my arms, my tears were bittersweet. It was heavenly to hold him; yet, I knew he had to go on without me. I had to accept he couldn’t be with us at this time. It was heart-wrenching to let go knowing the separation would be long-suffering on this side of life. However, he would rejoice in his spirit (Ruach) returning to Hashem. The feeling of eternal time sent us back to real time. I knew it was time to let go and say “goodbye” for now. Holding him alive in my arms would soon end.

Through tearful eyes and a weakened voice, I told Travis it was OK for him to go  knowing G-d would take care of him. An amazing miracle happened—gifted just for me to see. There was a miraculous glowing LIGHT that radiated around Travis’ head, like an aura. His face was no longer in fear or in pain. His countenance lifted. His face began to radiate with Hashem’s healing light of glory, surrounding his head. Travis was received by Hashem as his beautiful spirit returned. Travis took his last breath on earth and “crossed over” into Paradise to be with G-d, our Creator.

It’s substantial to understand what Hashem can reveal intimately on a deeper level during our lifespan when we choose to follow Him. Every person conceived has the Spirit of G-d (spark) given with a story to tell. Our Father, our Creator, is miraculous and every conceived human life will have his/her given Torah Parasha. Torah Portions are true stories of the Tanakh that our ancestors endured—to be remembered. Every week throughout the year “Parasha’s” are studied and read that have the Divine Presence (Hashem) with in-depth messages that are meaningful to man.

Let’s look at the connections:

“Travis”: English and French that means “To Cross” and “At the Crossroads;” given to toll collectors who stood by a bridge or crossing.”

“Shawn”: Hebrew name meaning: G-d is gracious.

Travis was born at the crossroads of life by way of the bridge to cross over the rivers into Paradise. Shawn reminds us that G-d is gracious and Hashem graciously placed Shawn in our care; illuminating the Light of Hashem for those who are willing to “see” and “hear” the miracles and see the loving-kindness (Chesed) of Hashem. Shawn, like his sisters, both have a “shen” (Sh) in their names that means “tooth” – crushing the enemy to bring Shalom. A tooth also sharpens, and it’s on the Mezuzah. Our youngest daughter’s name means “Virtuous” and “Shining Israelite”, “Shiny Jew”, and “nes” means miracle. A miracle from Hashem brings forth His Light– Torah!  Hashem is our Redeemer who crushes the enemy for His victory! Powerful!

Crosswinds, separation of “Twins”

Our hearts were torn. One baby has passed, and our other baby was in for the fight of his life. With alarms sounding off, the parting of Travis, Shawn could sense a part of him was gone (strong Levite souls). To our amazement, all of the nurses in the room gathered together in a line (like angels); dividing the link between our twins—blocking communication waves. We were informed when a twin sense their twin died, they stop thriving with a higher possibility to leave as well. With Hashem’s help, Shawn gained the strength needed to continue his journey. Hashem’s Light was shining Hashem’s Glory for all to see.

Crossing over: 

Abraham crossed over Mesopotamia to Canaan. He was the first person to be called a “Jew.” Through faith and obedience, Abraham answered Hashem’s call; “crossing over ” from a life of idol worship of g-ds to a new life that would bring honor and glory to the Most High G-d.

When one crosses over a river, they leave their old life behind while passing through to a new life. This reflects a connection to conception and the seed making its way through the waters; leaving behind its old life to seek a new life [through the water]. Israel waits for the crossing over of the man’s old life, marking its target (Torah) on their new home.

Moses and the Israelites crossed the Reed Sea. Joshua and the Israelites crossed the River Jordan into the Promised Land. Travis was in the waters of my womb. His feet came through the birth canal, like our ancestors’ feet that were set upon the Reed Sea. Travis was called back home to our Father and Creator; passing through the waters that cross over into Paradise. His souls were too perfect for this world.

G-d is Merciful/Gracious 

Shawn surprised the medical team on several occasions; surviving surgical procedures early on. He went through times of seizures, long term illnesses, and multiple shunt revisions that sent us back to the children’s hospital on Life-Flight numerous times. Through “trial and error” with shunt revisions for hydrocephalus [Shawn was the smallest infant to have attempted and succeeded at the time]; his procedures were written into medical journals. Today, through the pathway of Shawn, smaller infants have successful shunt surgeries, less time in NICU.

There were times of uncertainty during long and stressful recovery periods for shunt revisions, but with the rachamim (mercy) of Hashem, Shawn miraculously came through. My husband and I spent countless hours traveling out of state to the children’s hospital. I stayed with Shawn while my husband went back home to work, meeting up with us on weekends. Once during Shawn’s later part of his first year, he was flown to NICU back home; anticipating his stay to be low key. While there, he joyfully received frequent visits from his Grandma, who just happened to be the Head Director of the Women’s Center. Shawn loved to hear Grandma’s voice. They were very blessed to have been given that precious time together. Over time, his shunts failed. It was discovered cabin pressure from commercial airlines caused shunt failure. He was Life flown back to the children’s hospital (out of state). Throughout his life, there have been many shunt failures and emergency Life- Flights. I was blessed to have had my Mom accompany me on one of those flights. I usually went alone while my husband and our daughter drove to meet us.

There was one particular time we (my husband, daughter and I) were planning to join my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and their daughter for vacation. My sister and her family live over one thousand miles away. Shawn’s shunts failed suddenly, rerouting our rendezvous, having side-by-side motel rooms near the children’s hospital. My Dad sat up his keyboard in the hotel room. We shared our time visiting Shawn, and found joy with my Dad’s music played and songs sung.

Throughout his amazing life, Shawn has given hope to many; glowing with the Light of Hashem that continues to shine within and outward. His youngest sister loves and adores Shawn. She has always been by his side, helping and catering to his needs in his “quiet world.”  They truly are a gift to one another, a blessing.

More connections:

The twins were born in the month of June, rather, Sivan. Sivan, on the Jewish calendar, means the month of “Twins.” Ironically, my father was a twin, as well as my husband’s father. All three of these twin sets were blessed to be born in the Jewish month of Sivan—the month of Twins! How amazing and wondrous is Hashem?!

Torah Parasha: Shlach L’chah (Numbers/ Bamidbar 13-15)—The Twelves spies, two had a Good Report. Two is a separation of upper (Heavenly) and lower (earthly) waters—Creation Day Two.

Travis crossed over, left earth (passed over) through the waters with a clean record (Good Report). Shawn (G-d is Merciful/Gracious) continues to teach us HOPE, and to see the rachamim of Hashem so that we can learn how to have a Good Report [in our lives] for the Father; walking in the Wilderness as Hashem’s Chosen Ones for His Glory. Will we hear (Shema) and obey our Father? Will we walk in the path Hashem gives for our good?

Let’s dig a little deeper:

The Jewish month Sivan was the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai through Moses. Moses was the third born son (Amram and Yocheved, his parents). Sivan is the third month. Day Three of creation is a gathering of land having trees and plants with fruit-bearing seeds (life). Trees (Etz in Hebrew) have growth rings which look very similar to the fingerprints of humans. Hashem’s “fingerprints” are a gift for us to see His Creation and believe in our Creator. Torah brings unity between man and Hashem.

Genesis 2:22 teaches, And the LORD G-d fashioned the rib that He had taken from the man into a woman; and He brought her to the man.” Adam and Chavah (Eve) were made to be equal. Chavah was not designed from Adam’s heel to under her mate’s heel, but from his side (rib). When we look closer at this we realize G-d, Adam, and Chavah (Eve) were three; yet, man and woman are designed to be ‘One Flesh.” When we include G-d in our marriage, the three becomes ONE accord: Hashem—Man (father)—Female (mother).

There are three elements of man/woman:

  • Nefesh (soul/flesh that is shared with animals, creation day six).
  • Ruach (Spirit, the breath Hashem that places us above animals).
  • Neshamah (the soul part of G-d–His Sparks).

More Threes

The Talmud:

“Blessed is the Merciful One, who gave a three-part Torah, to a three-part nation, through a third, in the third month.” [5]

Rashi directs us to observe in the Torah having three parts:

  • Chumash
  • Prophets
  • Writings

Three Groups of the Israel Nation:

  • Kohanim
  • Levites
  • Israelites

The Three Pilgrimages:

  • Pesach (Light separated the darkness- brought out of the bondage of Egypt)
  • Shavuot (Torah given)
  • Sukkot (Completion with Sabbath Rest)

We serve the G-d of:

  • Abraham
  • Isaac
  • Jacob (Israel) – Israel, third, eternal connection.

Bringing it together:

The upper and lower water was Day Two of Creation. The upper and lower waters were a separation. Two is a division, and three is unity. When G-d walked in the Garden with Adam and Chavah, the three were united. When Adam and Chavah sinned they were separated from G-d.  There was no longer unity; tragically, only two opposing sides. But with G-d involved the opposing sides found unity.

A triangle has three sides; yet, it remains ONE shape. The two opposing sides cannot continue to be separated with the third involved (Eternal connection). Zvi Ryzman teaches us that having the third side added to the opposing sides diametrically brings unity. Three can no longer have a representation of two (separation by opposing sides). “But if one takes two opposites—Black and white—and adds a third color, red, the third color will fall somewhere between the two opposites and connect them.”[6]

  • Red—symbolic to the soil (earth) Esau (Edom, red and hairy).
  • White—white light shun in a prism will light up all seven rainbow colors, Eternal, Pure.
  • Black—onyx stone is one of the twelves stones upon the Breastplate. It can be layered black, white and red. Faith and Truth.

Creation Day Two is a separation of the upper and lower waters; however, there is a connection of unity that is eternal with Hashem. Man alone will always oppose one another. Keeping Torah is a Lamp (Light) before our feet. When we walk in His Light (Torah), we guard the Torah and keep connected to Hashem in covenant.

The Levites banner of color is 1/3 Black, 1/3 White, 1/3 Red – A huge connection! They (Levite Priests) were called by Hashem to bring man into unity with G-d through the Torah. The Levites were given the Priesthood (Kohen Gadol) because it was the tribe of Levi who refused to partake in the worship of the Golden Calf. Jewish tradition teaches that none of the women participated in the worship of the Golden Calf either.

“Moses stood up in the gate of the camp and said, “Whoever is for the LORD, come here!” And all the Levites rallied to him.” (Exodus/ Shemot 32:26)[7]

The Levites stepped forward. The Levites did not fall into spiritual adultery or idolatry. They took hold of Hashem. G-d called upon the Jews to bring the Torah to the Nations. They guarded (upheld) the Torah—the Light (Ohr) and Truth (Emet) that gathers man spirituality; exposing darkness that separates man from Hashem.

Hashem commanded the Mishkan (Tabernacle) to be built by the Children of Israel by using “Kerashim” (planks) from acacia trees. Acacia trees do not bend. Jacob (Yaakov) planted them in Egypt, and upon the Israelites leaving in the Exodus, they cut the trees down and took the wood into the Wilderness. The Mishkan was the resting place for the Shechinah—Divine Presence. Hashem desires to dwell with us. The Divine Presence, Torah, and Israel are three bonded together as ONE– Echad. They will NEVER be separated. We, too, are to be that “Mishkan” for the Divine Presence to dwell in us so that our mini menorahs can be lit to shine Hashem’s Light for others to see.

Looking back, we can see that the Levites are in the second line-up of the three. It’s remarkable the amazing intimate treasures Hashem revealed during this chapter! In the division, the upper and lower waters, Travis passed over (the waters) into Paradise, and Shawn (Hebrew name) fills in the gap; shining Torah (G-d is merciful and gracious) for those who will hear (Shema) and see.

“Also, if one attacks, two can stand up to him. A threefold cord is not readily broken!” (Ecclesiastes/ Kohelet 4:12)[8]

 

Shalom!

 

[1] Deuteronomy/ Devarim 31:6, Sefaria

[2] Name changed for privacy.

[3] Name changed for privacy.

[4] Psalms/ Tehillim 139: 13-16, Sefaria

[5] Shabbos 88a

[6] The Wisdom in the Hebrew Months, Zvi Ryzman p. 309 (Rabbinic teachings)

[7] Exodus/ Shemot 32:26, Sefaria

[8] Ecclesiastes/ Kohelet 4:12, Sefaria

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Bereishit/ Bereishis (Part 2)

Bereishit/ Bereishis (Part 2)

Tishrei—In the Beginning

Gen. 1:1-6:8

 Is. 42:5-43:10 (Haftarah)

 

Welcome back to Bereishit/Bereishis. If you haven’t read Bereishit Part 1, you can click here.

We will look for the connections of the four rivers and learn its significance to the Creation Story. As we recall, Bereishit/ Bereishis means “In the Beginning.” So in the beginning, there were events that were very substantial: The Creation of the heavens and the earth, Adam and Eve, the first sins, and the first argument with Kain and Abel over the appointed times, curses, and their consequences.

We will focus on the four rivers:

Draw near to Me and hear this: From the beginning, I did not speak in secret; From the time anything existed, I was there. “And now the Lord G-d has sent me, endowed with His spirit.” Thus said the LORD your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: I the LORD am your G-d, Instructing you for your own benefit. Guiding you in the way you should go. If only you would heed My commands! Then your prosperity would be like a river, Your triumph like the waves of the sea.” (Isaiah 48:16-18)[1]

Hashem has warned us to heed His Torah, keep His Festivals, as they are His Will. Hashem said if we love Him, to keep His Mitzvoth (commandments). The Torah is Light. Hashem is our Redeemer and G-d. We need to pay very close attention to obey His commandments so that our well-being would flow like a river…

The seven days of Creation were set in patterns. These patterns have chiastic connections as well as contranyms (at their opposite). G-d is a G-d of order. In other words, the events during Creation, Adam and Eve (Chavah), Kain and Abel, Esau and Jacob, as well as others, were established with a purpose—not randomly.

Hashem’s appointed times are known as calendar dates Hashem established; connecting the fourth day of creation: sun, moon, and stars that governs our days and nights. Those seasons are also the (3) pilgrimages: Pesach , Shavuot, and Sukkot .

Kain and Abel brought their offerings to Hashem at Sukkot, but Kain’s did not meet the criteria and fell short because his offering wasn’t his firstfruits, just fruits. Kain didn’t give his best to Elokim, just the leftovers. We, too, are to give Hashem our best offerings. Our offerings to Hashem are from what comes from our heart and lips since we don’t have our third Temple, yet. From the mouth speaks the heart.

Eden’s primary river isn’t mentioned by Name, Hashem is the source of life in water, as well as the Tree of Life.

If we look at a rainbow photo from NASA, we see a rainbow is circular. The Biblical Festivals start back to the beginning from the end. The Garden had four rivers with a main source giving direction. The essence of the four rivers is to increase and burst forth with fruit. This includes the seasons of chag: Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot, which also are the firstfruits offerings. The River in the Garden also gave off a mist that controled the climate and atmosphere for the Garden. Because it is a carbon-based earth, it makes it the perfect environment for trees, plants, all living creatures, including man. This plan was not only perfect, but very soothing for the man’s souls and spirit and a body made from dirt. It was also a dwelling for the Father to communicate with man. This was the plan for man to exist within the boundaries established in which man and G-d could fellowship together.

What is fascinating is the chiastic Menorah’s description that not only applies to the  Spirits of G-d (Isaiah 11:2-3) , seven Festivals, with the seven days of Creation, but it includes the branches of the four rivers that all flow from the same source—The Garden of Eden.

Such is the story of heaven and earth when they were created. When the LORD G-d made earth and heaven— when no shrub of the field was yet on earth and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted, because the LORD G-d had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, but a flow would well up from the ground and water the whole surface of the earth— the LORD G-d formed man from the dust of the earth. He blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. The LORD G-d planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and placed there the man whom He had formed. And from the ground the LORD G-d caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and bad. A river issues from Eden to water the garden, and it then divides and becomes four branches. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that winds through the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is. (The gold of that land is good; bdellium is there, and lapis lazuli.) The name of the second river is Gihon, the one that winds through the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris, the one that flows east of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. The LORD G-d took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it.” (Genesis 2:4-15)[2]

The river flowed out of Eden to water the Garden. The head of the river divides into four rivers. Pishon and Gihon have recurring qualities that return, circular. Hashem’s Festivals always return on the calendar, and like good gold, and precious stones, we too shall thirst for Torah, and become refined.

Rivers of Eden

As you view the Menorah, you’ll be able to see the 4 Rivers.

EUPHRATES/PERAT   is the middle branch, which is the furthest boundary of Israel; yet, the fruit of it is being the Great River. The middle branch feeds out to the others.

“I will set your borders from the Sea of Reeds to the Sea of Philistia, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you will drive them out before you.” (Exodus 23:31)[3]

Even though there isn’t a description of its movement, it is still synonymous with Shavuot and it corresponds with Sukkot. The chagim (3 pilgrimages) are all first-fruit offerings. Shavuot is first-fruits of wheat. This represents the Ruach ha’Kodesh, which is located on the fourth menorah candlestick—Center!

“The Euphrates River is later mentioned in G‑d’s promise to Abraham regarding the Land of Israel, and is used as one of the defining borders of the Promised Land. We are also told that there was a time when Jewish civilization had spread so far that members of the tribe of Reuben were living all the way to the banks of the Euphrates!”[4]

PISHON

Pishon means to increase. Looking at the menorah of the four rivers provided, you will notice that the Pishon River “heads” or divides into the 1st and the 7th branches. The movement of the Pishon River is surrounding (savav), and is thought to represent the Nile.

The plagues and the Nile originated during the Exodus Passover. Looking at the menorah provided, on the far left branch (branch one) it is also Passover (first festival) which is Israel’s account to have increase. Just like in Creation when Elokim separated the light from the darkness, Goshen was separated from the darkness that was sent to Egypt. The more the Egyptians afflicted the Israelites, the more the Israelites increased in number; which was concerning to the Pharaoh! The increase of the Pishon River and the increase of the Israelites (Plagues of the Nile) do parallel concisely.

Now, let’s look at the seventh branch (far one to the right—last one). The 7th branch is also the Sukkot. Sukkot is celebrated in remembrance of the Passover—a chiastic connection! This also represents Wisdom/Chokmah and Reverence of Hashem.We know there are seven days in creation, seven Spirits of Hashem, seven Festivals that are appointed times to gather with Hashem. So let’s try and place the dot-to-dots on this.

 

One will begin on the far left branch; working its way over to the last branch on the far right of the Menorah.

  1. Spirit of Wisdom (Chokmah)/PesachLight & Darkness
  2. Spirit of Understanding (Binah)/ Unleavened Bread(Chag HaMatzah)/ Upper and Lower Waters
  3. Spirit of Counsel (Etzah)/First fruits of Barley(Yom HaBikkurim)/Earth, Fruit, Seed, plants
  4. Ruach/ Shavuot/Sun, moon, stars
  5. Spirit of Power (Gvurah)/ Rosh Hashanah/ Birds and Fish
  6. Spirit of Knowledge (Daat)/ Day of Atonement (Yom Hakippurim)/ Beast and Man
  7. Spirit of Reverence/Fear (Yirat Adonai)/ Sukkot/ Sabbath (Shabbat/ Shabbos)

Please don’t let this overwhelm you! It takes time for it to soak into our thoughts. We all have been programmed to just surface read; scratching the surface. Torah is much deeper than just surface reading. I don’t know of you like onions, or not, but imagine one in front of you. I will imagine the red onion—yummy, sweet with a kick. One can cut that onion easily enough in half. But if you take the onion and begin to peel off each layer, one layer at a time, you’re going to be there awhile soaking up its juices. Learning Torah are layers upon layers. In other words, the more we study Torah, the more we will have a better understanding on a deeper level in Hashem’s Presence.

OK, before I trail off too far, let’s get back to the Four Rivers!

 

GICHON

Gichon divides into the second and sixth branch, described as bursting forth. To draw forth as to give birth. On the second branch, there is Binah, which means to build (Understanding), Chag Hamatzah (Unleavened Bread) chiastically connects to the sixth branch of Da’at which means knowledge, Yom HaKippurium (Day of Atonement).

Song of Solomon 6:10

On Yom Kippur, which is the sixth day, the High Priest is anointed just as King Solomon (builder/Ruach Binah) of the first temple. The anointing was at Gihon—another connection!

CHIDEKKEL

Chidekkel (noisy, rapid, roaring, Tigris). This will be a division into the third and fifth branches of the Menorah.

The Hebrew word, halakha, means “walks” or “goes” in a movement.

Connections:

  • Fifth day of Creation-birds and fish moved rapidly.
  • Fifth festival, Rosh Hashanah, blowing the shofar that is very noisy!
  • First Fruits of Barley.
  • Etzah (Spirit of Counsel) and Gvurah (Power).

The main river came from the Throne itself, giving nourishment to the Garden of Eden. Adam was in charge of moving the water, but he was not the creator of the water. Adam was able to freely irrigate the garden, trees included. He was given charge over the care and keep of the Garden. Adam’s physical and spiritual strength soon came to a weakened area after he sinned. After the fall, cultivating the soil became a lot harder- breaking sweat; fighting weeds.

Since Adam was placed in the Garden after he was created, we need to remember that it was Elokim Who caused the trees and plant life to grow. Adam was Hashem’s partner; having the reward of the Ruach ha’ Kodesh.

Hashem is the source of this nourishment– Water. He sustains life, and we, as His servants, are happy to help (good deeds). Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot are the rivers that give nourishment/drink in order to provide that water to “Good Gold” and “Precious Stones.” In other words, humans were created to walk through this water—Eden’s Four Rivers.

BDELLIUM

When the Israelites were in the wilderness with Moses for 40 years, Hashem sustained their needs. For example, their leather shoes and clothing lasted as the material never wore out. For forty years the Father provided and gave them Manna for their daily food. The manna was a miracle that happened every six days. On the sixth day, they would gather a double portion to have rest on the seventh day. Manna was not given on the seventh day so they had to plan accordingly.

“The house of Israel named it manna; it was like coriander seed, white, and it tasted like wafers in honey.” (Exodus 16:31)[5]

The appearance of manna resembled Bdellium, which was a precious stone that was encircled in the land of Havilah of the Pishon River. The seventh river, Pishon, boarders the land of Havilah where the bedolach was. Sabbath is identified with set apart– holy.

I think it is fascinating that the connection of bdellium is found to sparkle and glisten like a rainbow-crystal clear, and Manna was sparkly; wet clear dew for the Israelites! The dew would have glistened in the sunlight, refracting the prism of the rainbow. Moreover, if you take the menorah and tip it upside down, you’ll see a rainbow. It also looks like a bow and arrow readily to hit the mark—to be on target –Torah. Doesn’t this sound like a wonderful message given to us from our Father directly from the Throne of Glory?!

A psalm of David, when he was in the Wilderness of Judah. God, You are my God; I search for You, my soul thirsts for You, my body yearns for You, as a parched and thirsty land that has no water. I shall behold You in the sanctuary, and see Your might and glory.” (Psalms 63:1-3)[6]

The Onyx Stone

The Onyx is another precious stone of Havilah which appears black, but’s contranym (opposite of itself) is likely a whitening process. Shoham, Hebrew word for onyx appears to mean “ to blanch.” This would be the idea of making something holy by whitening. The priests of the Temple wore white linen garments. The linen was made of shesh.

Shen is one of the Hebrew letters in their alphabet. Shen means teeth. In Hebrew, the Shesh is spelled with (2) shens, which literally places the whiteness of the linen, and it also has a fiery connotation with the number six. If you look back to the menorah, or day six of Creation, you’ll soon recognize that on day six was the day that beast and man were created.

The 12 stones represent the 12 tribes of Israel. The shoham stones were connected to the breastplate (choshen) upon the priest’s shoulder using gold chains.

“For a child has been born to us, A son has been given us. And authority has settled on his shoulders. He has been named “The Mighty G-d is planning grace; The Eternal Father, a peaceable ruler.” (Isaiah 9:5)[7]

When we surface read, as taught in Western/ Greek cultures, we miss so much! It is exciting to have the true understanding of Torah. I can only hope we are able to peel back those onion layers to really get into the depth of Hashem’s precious word.

Conclusion

Hashem is the Aleph and the Tav. He is the beginning and the end; which of course after the seventh day (completeness), the eighth day is a new beginning—full circle!

He is our Creator, we are His creation. The main river came from the Throne of Glory, giving nourishment to the Garden of Eden.

Adam was in charge of moving the water, but he was not the creator of the water. Adam was able to freely irrigate the garden, trees included. Hashem is the source of this nourishment- Hashem’s River of Life. He sustains life, and as His servants, we should rejoice as He is our Rock of Salvation! Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot are the rivers that give nourishment/drink in order to provide that water to “Good Gold” and “Precious Stones.”

The Four Rivers came from the Thorne of Glory, pouring into into Gan Eden! Hashem is our Life Source.

Shalom!

 

[1] Isaiah 48:16-18, Sefaria

[2] Genesis 2:4-15, Sefaria

[3] Exodus 23:31, Sefaria

[4] https://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3082157/jewish/Where-Are-the-Four-Rivers-that-Come-from-Eden.htm

[5] Exodus 16:31, Sefaria

[6] Psalms 63:1-3, Sefaria

[7] Isaiah 9:5, Sefaria

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